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A teardown of the iPhone 4 showed it to have been beautifully designed and packing a great set of hardware.  (Source: ifixit)

  (Source: Engadget)

iPhone 4 (left) vs. iPhone 3GS (right)  (Source: Engadget)

iPhone 3GS display resolution (left) vs. iPhone 4 "Retina Display" (right)  (Source: Engadget)
Reviewers say iPhone 4 beats Android sets hands down, but has flaws -- network, multitasking, and notifications

The iPhone 4 is launching officially tomorrow.  Pre-orders are arriving today and some lucky pre-order customers received their phone yesterday.

Every year the iPhone launch frenzy seems to only grow more massive.  This year pre-orders quickly sold out.  So what's the fuss about?  We're about to find out.  Today we present to you a pair of early reviews and the first teardown of the phone.  The overall message?  Most will be willing to put up with some minor software or network bugaboos in exchange for the iPhone's unparalleled hardware and packaging.

Without further ado, let's first begin with perhaps the first complete teardown of the phone. 
iFixIt has taken a shiny new iPhone 4 and torn it into tiny pieces.  

While the most expensive iPhone 4 has a capacity of 32 GB, the unit only has 29.06 GB of Samsung NAND, leaving you 28.77 GB after the 301 MB install of Apple's OS and supporting software.

According to the report, the case design's modifications mean that it will be easier to remove the rear panel (to replace the battery, for example) but harder to replace the front glass.  Moving on, there's a 3.7V 1420 mAh Li-Polymer battery, 512 MB of Numonyx RAM (as rumored), and an A4 processor with 1 GHz Cortex A8 Core onboard (although the final clock speed dictated by the OS is unknown).  Other previously mentioned improvements include dual microphones, a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and a new screen made of Corning Gorilla Glass, a chemically strengthened alkali-aluminosilicate thin sheet glass that is reported to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic.

IFixIt seems pretty impressed with the design.  They write:

In what can only be described as a work of genius, Apple has integrated the UMTS, GSM, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth antennas into the stainless steel inner frame.

The dual purpose stainless steel inner frame/antenna assembly addresses possibly the two biggest flaws concerning previous iterations of the iPhone: continuous dropped calls and lack of reception.

Meanwhile those who reviewed the phone had similar reactions.  All Things Digital and Wall Street Journal editor Walt Mossberg loved the Retina display, scratch proof casing (which survived several 3 foot drops on hard surfaces), and improved camera.  He says the multitasking might fall a bit short as only some apps are allowed to truly multitask, in order to save battery life.  He explains:

In fact, for many scenarios, such as games, Apple’s version of multitasking is really just fast switching among open apps that save their place. And, even to achieve this, the apps must be updated. For some users, this limited version of multitasking will be a disappointment.

Walt's biggest complaint, though was the network.  He states:

The most important downside of the iPhone 4 is that, in the U.S., it’s shackled to AT&T, which not only still operates a network that has trouble connecting and maintaining calls in many cities, but now has abandoned unlimited, flat-rate data plans. Apple needs a second network.

He concludes:

Just as with its predecessors, I can’t recommend this new iPhone for voice calling for people who experience poor AT&T reception, unless they are willing to carry a second phone on a network that works better for them.
For everyone else, however, I’d say that Apple has built a beautiful smartphone that works well, adds impressive new features and is still, overall, the best device in its class.

Engadget also reviewed the device.  Joshua Topolsky bragged about the iPhone 4's battery life and managed to squeeze out 38 hours on a charge.  The site was disappointed though at the lack of widgets.  The thing that most ticked it off though was notifications.  Topolsky writes:

We're at version 4 of this OS, and we're still plagued by these intrusive, productivity-freezing alerts. If you're as busy as we are, then you know what it's like to get invite after invite for your calendar, text messages, and push notifications that just stall the phone out. While every other modern OS-maker has figured out an elegant way to deal with notifications (including the forthcoming Windows Phone 7), Apple clings to this broken system. Why? We can't really say.

As to the hardware, Engadget showed the iPhone 4 a whole lot of love.  Topolsky says the camera works great in low light conditions, video calling is slick, and that you "won't find a better display on a phone."

The site concludes its iPhone love-fest commenting:

We can't overstate how high-end the design of the iPhone 4 is. The 3GS now feels cheap and chubby by comparison, and even a phone like the HTC Droid Incredible -- which just came out -- seems last-generation.
We're not going to beat around the bush -- in our approximation, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market right now. The combination of gorgeous new hardware, that amazing display, upgraded cameras, and major improvements to the operating system make this an extremely formidable package.

Is the iPhone 4 really the  "best phone" on the market?  That's up to you to decide, but that's the opinion being voiced by early reviewers.  And, hey, it even comes with free tracking.

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RE: Is it the best iPhone?
By FATCamaro on 6/23/2010 10:18:13 AM , Rating: -1
There is no best smart phone on the market. If battery life, screen, size, camera, general usability are more important than 4G speeds then I can't see how the Evo is any better than an iphone 4.
The Evo is running Android 2.1? So it is slower (minus the 4G network) than an iphone 3GS until upgraded to a 2.2. It doesn't have flash until upgraded to 2.2. You can't even store your apps on your SD card until upgraded to 2.2..... So the Evo will be better in the future for many uses than an iphone 4. Hardly the best phone on the market even then!

RE: Is it the best iPhone?
By cknobman on 6/23/2010 10:42:30 AM , Rating: 5
Dont talk out of your ass it makes you look like a fool.

The EVO does flash, I know because I own one and use it everyday. It dosnt support FULL flash today but it supports a smartphone version of flash that has been good enough for every flash site ive been to except for 1 and that was only a limited part of the site as well.

General usability? LOL Ive had both and used both and while the iphone is easy to use (for simpletons) the android platform is 10x more useable than the iOS because of what you can do with it. Its nice having some decision making capabilities rather than doing what your told all the time.

RE: Is it the best iPhone?
By FATCamaro on 6/23/10, Rating: -1
RE: Is it the best iPhone?
By cknobman on 6/23/2010 11:15:12 AM , Rating: 5
Coming from the mouth of someone who likely has an iphone and obviously dosnt have a phone with flash lite.

Hmm if flash lite lets me view 99% if sites with flash on them vs. the iphone which lets me view exactly 0% then flash lite is better than nothing and its still goes to show that there are features in the CURRENT version (2.1) of my EVO that are better than the iOS 4 which directly disproves your earlier statement of needing to wait for android 2.2 to come out.

In fact every single person with an iphone that has seen my EVO with flash lite was in disbelief when I could go to simple sites like speakeasy and do a speed test when their iphones crapped out.

You are the idiot.

RE: Is it the best iPhone?
By omnicronx on 6/23/2010 4:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that pretty much all android phones will get REAL flash in the coming months once Froyo 2.2 is released, right?

Even right now you can get it on your EVO on 2.1 (thanks to the guys down at XDA)..

Thanks for being a moron and not adding to the conversion though!!!

RE: Is it the best iPhone?
By darkblade33 on 6/23/2010 7:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
I get the feeling Google is adding Flash to Droid more for apps though and not for the mobile web. Remember one of Google's main guys is the lead guy for HTML 5, and Google ( not just Apple, and Microsoft ) has put alot money and time into making sure the cellular web has a strong HTML5 showing seems to be banking on it. I dont know every reason google wants to use HTML5 ( like they did with Youtube ) .. but Flash on the cellular web could only slow it down and consume more power from a device that needs to be more power efficient.. Just my two cents..

RE: Is it the best iPhone?
By Shadowself on 6/23/2010 2:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
There is no best smart phone on the market.

IMHO, this is the only factual statement made in your post that will never be refuted, FIT. The rest is either open to interpretation or will be configuration dependent.

"The Best" is all dependent upon the individual user. For some the iPhone *is* the best smart phone. For others it is an Android phone. For others it is a Windows phone. Hell, I know people who HATE not having a physical keyboard. I know people who HATE anything that is not a clamshell phone. To each his own. No single phone is no true best smart phone.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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